Early Maps of  Ho! -  Julia Barnes


Early roads and tracks lead from village to village and smallholding to smallholding and tended to be very direct, often too steep for wheeled transport though fine for pack horses or pony trains.

People going directly to W and E Westward Ho! from Abbotsham used two very old routes now no longer in existence as in the map above. The part of Buckleigh Road now going past the laundry didn’t exist at all and the road veered R at Silford Cross (instead of going straight on to the top of Fosketh Hill as now) continued up Laundry Lane and then quickly forked L to cross the fields (hedgerows still in existence by the side of the old Buckleigh Laundry drive which also went up there).

This old road came out at almost the highest point of Bay View Road, crossed over it and began a very steep descent towards Westward Ho!. It forked very soon after with the main branch going R down through the woods below Bay View Road and ending up possibly down the old drive to Inglebrook or Hillsborough and then continuing along Tadworthy Road which may be the only part of this old road still remaining in use. It was probably a drovers’ road taking sheep to and from grazing on the Burrows common land or to collect sand by pony transport.

The other branch turned left at the top and must have been extremely vertiginous as it exited onto Atlantic Way between Avon Lane and Beach Road (then known as Hangars’ Lane) though all traces of this road seem lost. Later it was probably modified to be less steep to descend via Highview Terrace and thence onto Fosketh Hill half way down.

The main road from Northam to Abbotsham went out along Cluden Road from Bay View Road and was then called Abbotsham Road on old maps. Here it picked up the old route up from Westward Ho! that had come up via Piggy Lane (still there as a footpath and continuation of Cluden Road down to Atlantic Way) then continued R along Daddon Hill and on to Silford hamlet and thence to Abbotsham.




 Pre-existing roads at Westward Ho!

This very early map was drawn up before the dawn of Westward Ho!.
By this time, Fosketh Hill was the main route down to Westward Ho! and Stanwell Hill is only pencilled in as an idea which was later built. Fosketh Hill then came down to a T-junction.

 The left fork at this T junction then
continued on behind the Royal Hotel stables and on out to Cornboroug Cliffs as the footpath still does today. This footpath is still on the line of the old road. Merley Road was not yet built so this old road was the only route
 out to the cliffs.
Interestingly although the Royal Hotel has not yet been built and is only marked as a site, the stables opposite were already in existence and a new road road was driven between the hotel and its stables and servants'tap later on.
At the road junction at the bottom of Fosketh Hill, Kingsley Road was the only road to the right, with 2 new roads put in later: Nelson Road and part of Atlantic Way. This new section of Atlantic Way is shown cutting right through the middle of Youngaton Farm site (later it became the Village Inn)to leave only the old farm house intact.